Thursday, 25 May 2017

Top of the Pops 'N Boots

The Christmas Day edition of Top of the Pops 1983 will not be shown on BBC4 because one of the hosts is Mike Smith. So a huge festive thanks goes to Xrayfour for making it available here at Vimeo.

Just can't think why Mike wouldn't want anyone to see this show again......

25/12/83 (Simon Bates, Janice Long, Andy Peebles & Mike Smith)

Freeez – “IOU”
Michael Jackson – “Billie Jean” (video)
Shakin’ Stevens – “Cry Just A Little Bit”
Men At Work – “Down Under” (video)
Bonnie Tyler – “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” (video)
Eurythmics – “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)”
Irene Cara – “Flashdance (What A Feeling)” (video)
Adam Ant – “Puss ‘N Boots”
Duran Duran – “Is There Something I Should Know?” (video)
Bucks Fizz – “When We Were Young”
Lionel Richie – “All Night Long (All Night)” (video)
Heaven 17 – “Temptation”
David Bowie – “Let’s Dance” (video)
UB40 – “Red Red Wine”
Billy Joel – “Uptown Girl” (video)
The Flying Pickets – “Only You”
KC & The Sunshine Band – “Give It Up” (audience dancing/credits)

Back to BBC4 next for December 29th 1983.


  1. Freeez - oh yes, the summer massive No.2 brings the boys back to a cold Xmas studio, but they seem to be still dressed in July mode.

    Adam Ant - I much preferred the fantastic video for this one. The studio performance was surprisingly without his girlies around him, and a bit like going back three years when he arrived at the end of 1980 as Adam & The Ants, with just the male band members. Hmmm, doesn't do it for me this time.

  2. Many thanks to Xrayfour for making this available. It is in many ways a return to a more traditional Christmas Day TOTP format, with a smaller number of presenters and the vast majority of songs featured either ex-number 1s or 2s. As far as our hosts are concerned, it's a shame that Janice and Smitty are the only ones in panto costume, as it would have been good to see Master Bates look like even more of a wally than normal! He is actually pretty good again here, as are Peebles and Janice, who has plenty of leg on display. Smitty, alas, is embarrassing both in and out of his Dame outfit, and on the evidence of his shows so far I am beginning to understand why he was not keen for them to be repeated...

    Musically there's not much to surprise or excite here, and there is a large preponderance of overly familiar videos. At least there were a few lesser played records, and it was a pleasant surprise to have the Fizz in the studio again, given this very impressive song only made it to number 10. Other highlights were the breakdancing during the Freeez performance, Dave's punctilious banging of the kettle drum during Sweet Dreams, and another committed Ant performance of Puss 'N Boots. However, 1981's title as "best Christmas show of the repeat run" is under no real threat here...

    1. For me, the 1979 Christmas show was by far the best and it's the only one I've kept almost in its entirety (I couldn't bear to keep Lena Martell!) but 81 was good too.

  3. Thanks to Xrayfour for the Christmas Day TOTP. Despite being fifteen at the time, I missed it first time round.

    1. I was also fifteen in 1983 Andrew.

    2. Yes. You're a few months older than me Dory!

  4. Looks like tonight's BBC4 showing of 29.12.83 will snip out the JK section, so if XRayFour or someone can furnish the whole show ahead of the BBC4 shorter version, that will be great.

  5. I just skimmed through this, if only Mike had been more like Jeremy Paxman as a presenter we might have been able to see his episodes. I did watch Bucks Fizz because that's far rarer than anything else here, Cheryl doing her Christine Keeler impersonation (in pose, not anything else), but as often with the Christmas shows, pretty much seen it all before (especially with the preponderance of videos). Not sure what'll be left for the repeat on tonight!

  6. like most xmas specials this has little appeal for me as it's just a round-up of stuff we've seen before - and in most cases too often already! so after a trawl through this year's shows and much mulling over what to include and what to leave out (especially where the latter are concerned) here's my crackers and turkeys of 1983:

    CRACKERS ("owner of a lonely heart" should be here, but despite being a hit it was criminally ignored by totp!)

    1: the stranglers - european female
    2: level 42 - the chinese way
    3: icehouse - hey little girl
    4: david joseph - you can't hide your love
    5: sylvian/sakamoto - forbidden colours
    6: the police - wrapped around your finger
    7: hot streak - body work
    8: unique - what i got is what you need
    9: the thompson twins - hold me now
    10: simple minds - waterfront


    1: malcolm mclaren - buffalo gals
    2: the belle stars - sign of the times
    3: joe cocker & jennifer warnes - up where we belong
    4: dire straits - twisting by the pool
    5: bonnie tyler - total eclipse of the heart
    6: heaven 17 - temptation
    7: herbie hancock - rockit
    8: carmel - bad day
    9: david bowie - modern love
    10: howard jones - new song

    1. Pleased to see the Police and The Thompson Twins just sneaked into your cracker top 10, as these two were the highlight of the year for me. As far as the turkeys go, I would add Black Lace with Superman.

    2. For me..

      1. Toto - Africa
      2. Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of the Heart
      3. Genesis - Mama
      4. Paul Young - Come back and stay
      5. Cliff Richard - Please don't fall in love
      6. Police - Every breath you take
      7. Yazoo - Nobody's Diary
      8. David Bowie - Modern Love
      9. Flashdance - Irene Cara
      10. Mike Oldfield - Moonlight Shadow

      (special mention also to Lionel Richie and 'Running with the Night' that we haven't seen yet).

      Too many turkeys to list 10, but anything by Michael Jackson or Musical Youth would be in there...

    3. Similar top ten for me, but I would substitute Cliff Richard for Toto's Rosanna at No.5, and would swap Genesis for Barry Manilow's Read 'Em And Weep at No.3 in that list.

    4. dory my list is presented in strictly chronological order - i went through the old blogs to make sure of that!

      is anyone else going to do a top 10 crackers and turkeys list? the only ones who have so far are (as expected) pretty much apposite to mine, but i suspect my taste is a bit more alighned with other regular contributors. and it would be nice to see one from angelo in particular, as he rarely makes actual comment on the quality or otherwise of the music on the show...

    5. with regard to my turkeys: to sort out the wheat from the chaff (if you see what i mean!) those i remember intensely annoying me at the time as well as now get prioritised. the exception here is "new song" which i felt ambivalent about at the time, but now realise that such bland fare by heavily-hyped new artists was beginning to set the tone as far as the charts were concerned. talking of set the tone, does anyone else remember that dance act (masterminded by kenny heslop, who appeared on totp several years earlier with slik) that seemed to get heavy coverage on "the tube" in 1983? but unlike paul young and shalamar who also appreared on the show frequently, it didn't help break them - perhaps due to a noticeable lack of any tune in their recordings?:

    6. Here's my Top 10, in no particular order:

      Mike Oldfield - Moonlight Shadow
      Phil Everly & Cliff - She Means Nothing to Me
      Paul Young - Come Back and Stay
      Yazoo - Nobody's Diary
      Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of the Heart
      Thompson Twins - Hold Me Now
      FB3 - Our Lips are Sealed
      Tears For Fears - Pale Shelter
      David Bowie - Modern Love
      Tina Turner - Let's Stay Together

      I can't really think of ten turkeys, as overall I thought the quality was pretty high during '83, but Black Lace's Superman would certainly top the list if I did write one!

    7. i can't believe that "modern love" has been chosen in three contributors' top 10 lists of 1983 - for me not only was it a real stinker, but also a watershed moment in that the leader of the pack for the previous 10 years had now become just another contender. and as history has shown, struggled to hang on to said pack thereafter...

  7. My top 10 (in no order other than the order I thought of them)

    I'm still standing - EltonJohn
    Thriller - Michael Jackson
    Sweet Dreams - Eurythmics
    Blue Monday - New Order
    Safety Dance - men without hats
    New Year's Day - u2
    Tell her about it - bills Joel
    Don't talk to me about love - altered images
    Total ellipse of the heart - bonnie Tyler
    Breakaway - Tracey ullman

    1. For appearance for The Safety Dance in the crackers lists, so well done you.

    2. "new year's day" would almost certainly have made my top 10, had bono not turned into a deluded and hypocritical prick of giant proportions inbetween then and now!

  8. I whizzed through this one very quickly. Some of the choices were a little odd - I mean, I like it and it was good to see them recreate the slightly saucy performance for Christmas Day, but the Bucks Fizz song wasn't a massive hit. The Shaky and Adam Ant songs weren't great either but I suppose you could argue that they were both still huge stars.

    Only 1 No.1 act in the studio though, sadly that was UB40. Someone obviously didn't like 'Down Under' though, we barely got half of it!

  9. Top 10 crackers of 1983, in no particular order (and being strict here in that we have to have seen them in some form on BBC4) are -

    The Last Film - Kissing The Pink
    Hey Little Girl - Icehouse
    Double Dutch - Malcolm McLaren
    Waiting For A Train - Flash & The Pan
    Run For Your Life - Bucks Fizz
    First Picture Of You - Lotus Eaters
    Christian - China Crisis
    Genetic Engineering - OMD
    The Safety Dance - Men Without Hats
    Nobody's Diary - Yazoo

  10. A top 10 from me. (in no particular order)

    1. New Order - Blue Monday
    2. Joe Jackson - Steppin Out
    3. David Joseph - You Can't Hide Your Love
    4. Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
    5. D Train - Music
    6. Freeez - IOU
    7. Gary Byrd and the GB Experience - The Crown
    8. The Smiths - This Charming Man
    9. Unique - What I've Got Is What You Need
    10. Black Lace - Superman.

    For me, this year has been a real treat musically and thanks to everyone for their posts on here and to Angelo for his hard work. Hats off also to the uploaders for making the missing episodes available.